Rod Broadway became the 18th head coach in the history of North Carolina A&T football on Feb. 3, 2011. Broadway has spread success to various collegiate programs over the past 15 years as a head coach. He has five conference championships spread out over three different schools and conferences. He has won a Black College Football National Championship at each stop as well including North Carolina Central (2006), Grambling State (2008) and North Carolina A&T State University (2015).
His latest Black College National Championship and conference title came after the Aggies completed the 2015 season 10-2 overall, 7-1 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and won the inaugural Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl. Also during the 2015 season, he became the 26th active FCS coach to record 100 wins after a 27-3 triumph over Norfolk State on Oct. 10 earned him the milestone.
Broadway teams have also played in three NCAA postseason tournaments. He led NCCU to two Division II playoff appearances in 2005 and 2006, and in 2016 he led the Aggies to the NCAA FCS playoffs. At the end of the 2015 season, Broadway was named American Urban Radio Network Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year. Running back Tarik Cohen was named AURN Doug Williams Offensive Player of the Year, marking the second time in Broadway’s career he coached the black college football offensive player of the year.
The Aggies football program has made tremendous strides under Broadway’s stewardship. A year before Broadway’s arrival, the Aggies were 1-10. As Broadway enters his seventh season, the Aggies are 47-22 with two MEAC championships, the Black College Football title and a win in the inaugural Celebration Bowl in Atlanta in 2015. The Aggies’ 2014 MEAC title was their first in 11 years, and when they won the conference title again in ‘15 it marked the school’s first back-to-back conference title since the 1991, ‘92 seasons.
N.C. A&T also earned two of its biggest wins in program history under Broadway. In 2013, the Aggies defeated three-time FCS national champion Appalachian State in Boone, N.C. It was the first time the Mountaineers had lost to an in-state opponent at home since 1984. In 2016, the Aggies defeated a Division I-FBS school for the first time in program history with a 39-36 quadruple overtime win at Kent State.
The five straight winning seasons are the programs longest such streak since the Aggies produced six straight winning seasons between 1996-2001. Thirty-three different players have earned All-MEAC honors under Broadway at N.C. A&T, including 13 players in 2016, the most in school history. There have been 18 first-team All-MEAC selections under Broadway and nine players have earned some type of All-American honor, which included center Ronald Canty earning Associated Press and American Football Coaches Association All-American recognition and punt returner Khris Gardin earning STATS FCS and Athletics Directors Association All-American honors. Cohen is a three-time All-American by STATS.
Broadway turned the Aggies into a winner despite numerous obstacles he inherited when he arrived on campus in February of 2011. Broadway took over a program mired in NCAA sanctions stemming from a low graduation rate. Thus, Broadway took on the task of building a winner despite having reduced practice hours, fewer scholarships and little to no spring practice. Instead of making excuses, Broadway changed the football culture at A&T. He revitalized A&T’s program with a stingy defense and a stringent focus on accountability on the football field and in the classroom.
One of his first initiatives was to make his players proud of the A&T legacy. Before each home game, they visit the statue (on campus) of four men and former A&T students (David Richmond, Franklin McCain, Joseph A. McNeil and Jibreel Khazan formerly known as Ezell Blair, Jr.) largely credited with ushering in the modern day civil rights movement with their famous Feb. 1, 1960 sit-in at a Greensboro F.W. Woolworth’s lunch counter. In addition, A&T’s annual academic progress rate score, the score that measures progress toward degree, improved to 944 in single year 2011-12, releasing the Aggies from NCAA sanctions. The single-year score improved to 948 the following year and increased to 958 in 2013-14.
The foundation for the Aggies’ resurgence on the field has been defense. The only season the Aggies failed to finish in the top-20 nationally in total defense was 2016. They have ranked No. 2 nationally in total defense twice. The run defense has finished outside of the top-10 only once under Broadway, and in 2013 the Aggies led the nation in run defense. In 2012, the Aggies ranked No. 1 nationally in pass defense efficiency. The Aggies have not been bad on offense either under Broadway. In his first year, Broadway became the first Aggie head coach in school history to produce a 2,000-yard passer, a 1,000-yard rusher and a 1,000-yard receiver. In four of his years, he has had the MEAC Offensive Player of the Year. In 2011, Wallace Miles became the first player in school history to have a 1,000-yard receiving season.
The NFL has come calling since Broadway’s arrival as well. Tarik Cohen became the Aggies first NFL draft pick in 12 years when he was selected in the fourth round by the Chicago Bears in 2017. Mayhew, William Ray Robinson III, Nathan Isles, Ayodeji Olatoye, Desmond Lawrence, Miles and Tony McRae have all earned invites to NFL camps. Isles, Miles, Olatoye and McRae signed free agent contracts with NFL teams. Miles still plays in the CFL and receiver Kevin Francis was selected in the CFL supplemental draft by Saskatchewan in 2015.
Broadway has compiled a 114-44 (.722) record over 14 years as a head coach. Before taking over the difficult task of rebuilding an Aggies program with just 14 wins in the previous seven seasons before his arrival, Broadway spent four seasons (2007-10) at Grambling State. The Tigers went 35-12 under his leadership. The year before he arrived at GSU, the Tigers went 3-8. During his first season, the Tigers finished second in the Southwestern Athletic Conference and made an appearance in the SWAC Championship Game. Five players received either All-American or All-SWAC honors, and Broadway was a finalist for the nationally-recognized Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award. Year two led to even more improvements for the GSU program. The Tigers ascended to the top of the SWAC with a 9-0 record and a 41-9 win over Jackson State in the SWAC Championship Game. GSU’s 2008 season also produced, a No. 24 national ranking in the Sports Network Division I-FCS poll and a Black College National Championship.
Defense was the catalyst for the Tigers’ success as they finished the season ranked No. 1 nationally in turnover margin, pass efficiency defense and had a No. 7 ranking in rush defense. In addition, three players earned All-American honors, nine were named All-SWAC and five players earned Louisiana Sports Writers Association recognition. Accolades for Broadway included being named SWAC Coach of the Year and The Pigskin Club of Washington, D.C., Coach of the Year. Broadway owns the best winning percentage in program history, even better than legendary GSU head coach Eddie Robinson.
Before his stint at GSU, Broadway turned N.C. Central into a Division II national power. His four-year stint (2003-06) at N.C. Central produced a 33-11 record, back-to-back CIAA titles for the first time in 50 years and the Eagles made two consecutive appearances in the NCAA Division II Playoffs. The 2006 season was the highlight of Broadway’s tenure at NCCU. Broadway led the Eagles to an 11-1 season and the top seed in the NCAA Division II Southeast Region. After fielding the No. 1 rated offense in the CIAA and the 15th ranked defense nationally, individual honors included two players being named Associated Press Little All-Americans.
There were also 12 players named All-CIAA, 10 players named Daktronics All-Southeast Region and four players were named SBN All-Americans from the 2006 team. Quarterback Stadford Brown was named SBN Player of the Year. During his stint at NCCU, Broadway also put together a 16-game regular-season winning streak.
Broadway began his collegiate coaching career at East Carolina University in 1979. His other coaching positions included stays at Duke University (1981-94), the University of Florida (1995-00) and the University of North Carolina (2001-02). At Florida, he served as a member of the Steve Spurrier’s staff, and in 1996 he helped the Gators win an NCAA National Championship. Broadway’s stay also included four SEC Championships and six bowl appearances. The Gators defense led the SEC in sacks four straight seasons (1996-99), and the team set a school record for fewest rushing yards allowed, as offenses produced just 70.7 yards per game.
A 1977 graduate of UNC, Broadway played on the Tar Heels defensive line from 1974-77. He earned the team’s Outstanding Freshman award in 1974 as he helped the Tar Heels earn a Sun Bowl berth. In 1977, he earned All-ACC honors along with the team’s Most Outstanding Senior honor.
Broadway and his wife LaTonia live in Greensboro. They have three sons and six grandchildren.